Instant Pot Smoked Hawaiian Pork seasoned with two kinds of guilt

I’ve jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon and last night I tried a new recipe. You will find similar recipes online described as Kalua Pork, but when I’ve seen them, I have always assumed it is some kind of coffee-flavored stew, and scrolled past.

It turns out that Kalua Pork is, more traditionally, the result of cooking a whole pig in a pit at a luau in Hawaii. Read about it here – I won’t quite apologize for the fact that I am culturally misappropriated the whole concept, but I will suggest that what I made is a faint shadow of the cultural and historical truth, translated into a midwestern kitchen using a shiny gadget to cook store-bought pork. While you’re at it, read Unfamiliar Fishes, a book by the quirky Sarah Vowell that will teach you a ton about the tragic history of Hawaii.

Farm to Market had a yeast mishap, but the bread was still good for sopping up pork juice.

Back to my kitchen.  I cooked a bastardized version of a food with a proud tradition worthy of tremendous respect. Sometimes, you gotta focus on the eats. At least I acknowledge it.

I bought a 4 pound boneless shoulder roast at the grocery store for $1.48/pound. I’m never going to do that again. Robin and I talked about it yesterday evening – my meat came wrapped in plastic from a Hormel factory. With my modest purchase, I endorsed the entire CAFO system, just like politicians I used to demonize. I would cut myself some slack if I were scraping by meal to meal, but I am fortunate enough to have the financial means to have walked into Broadway Butcher, Local Pig, Curt’s Meats, or McGonigle’s and purchased a better product and a cleaner conscience. I’m turning over a new leaf.

Back to my kitchen. I can do better in the future, but I had people to feed last night.

Now, here’s the recipe:

Smoked Hawaiian Pork seasoned with two kinds of guilt

~ 2/3 pound of bacon

4 pounds pork roast

1/2 TB of liquid smoke (a truly legit ingredient, by the way)

~ 1 TB smoked salt (mine came from a trip to Italy, but you can find it here or make your own)

~ 1 TB minced garlic

~ 1 1/2 cups of water

Brown the bacon using the Saute’ setting on the Instant Pot. Spoon out the bacon then brown the pork roast on all sides. Then add the bacon back in, the garlic, the liquid smoke, the water and then the salt. Put it on high pressure for 1:45, then let the pressure naturally decrease.

Serve with whatever sides sound good to you. We’re doing bread, avocados and cilantro-lime rice. Bon appe’tit!

The meal was wonderful, with fall-apart pork and a deep smoky flavor. Best of all, it was incredibly easy – hardly any prep time required for a big meal that fed 4 adults and one child and made plenty of leftovers.

This, plus some bacon, added smokey flavor

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